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Jim CraddockWed Apr 04, 2018 3:43 pmGentleman Ghost
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Jim Craddock

on Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:43 pm
Jim Craddock
a.k.a. Gentleman Ghost


Full Name: James Orville Craddock
Age: 158
Sex: Male
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Occupation: Real Estate Invester & Cemetary Owner (also, crook)


Alignment: Supervillain
Affiliation: none, currently


Universe: Main
Elseworld:
Residence:

Face Claim: Russell Brand


Player Name: Gentleman Ghost (Bone2pick on Discord)

Biography:

James Orville Craddock, only child of Howard and Rebecca Craddock, was born in Gotham in 1859.  Tragically he was fatherless before his third birthday, as Howard was one of the earlier casualties of the Civil War.  Left without a provider, Rebecca was taken in by her older sister and brother-in-law in Bludhaven.  With his mother toiling away on odd jobs and his aunt and uncle uninterested in him, the impressionable Craddock turned to the streets for amusement.  And he quickly landed himself in bad company.

Too much freedom cultivated an addiction to mischief.  Jim started pocketing candy before he could write his name.  And he was lifting wallets before his voice deepened.  He was a thief before he was a man.  Worse still, he was a good thief; he had a knack for ripping folks off.  He caught his share beatings in those days but the pain didn't set him straight, it merely encouraged him to be a smarter criminal.

By the time he was nineteen he was an outlaw folk hero.  Outfitted with his signature cane and top hat he earned the monikers Gentleman Jim, and The Gentleman Bandit.  Most men would hate having to keep an eye over their shoulder, but Craddock wouldn't have it any other way.  Life was an adventure best played dangerously, or so he believed.  And nothing could top the thrill of a heist — that is, until he fell in love.

It was an Irish gypsy named Sorsha Macqueen who captured the rogue's heart.  She claimed to be a medium to the spirit world who hailed from a long line of witches.  That's how the two met; Jim sought her supernatural services to reconnect with his father.  But the seance didn't go quite as he imagined.  The normally devil-may-care bandit was forced to hold back tears so he cut the ritual short.  He couldn't allow himself to be vulnerable.  But Sorsha had glimpsed the actual man behind the cocksure front.  And she wanted to see more.

Jim surrendered every criminal instinct and lost himself in a wild and transformative romance.  Each day spent with her was better than the last.  For the first time in his life he was passionate about someone other than himself.  And while she didn't accompany him on his burglaries and thuggery, she supported him every step of the way.  They were kindred spirits, and together the world was their oyster.

But charming as Craddock was, he was never short on enemies.  His most frequent adversary was Sorsha's older brother, a two-bit ruffian named Ashling.  Part of the brother's animosity stemmed from his disapproval of his sister's insolent and rakish lover, but most of it grew out of resentment.  He was a nobody - and he knew it - and The Gentleman Bandit was a somebody.  The two even came to blows once, and Jim got the better of that encounter as well.

After the fight Sorsha and Ashling didn't speak for over a year.  But eventually enough time passed for him to reach out to his estranged sister.  Ashling claimed he wanted peace in the family again.  He even wanted to apologize, face to face, for his past behavior.  And so, at the urgings of his Irish beauty to give her brother one more chance, Jim agreed to a meeting.  But what he walked into was an ambush.

On Ashling's signal police officers stormed in and apprehended the city's most elusive thief.  Of course the brother received a handsome reward for luring him out.  Per his arrangement, his sister was not taken into custody.  Sorsha wept for her lover as they dragged him away while cursing her traitorous brother.  Jim's reign of lawlessness had come to end: he was swiftly tried, found guilty, and sentenced to death by electrocution.

Wracked with guilt from leading her devoted into the snares of his enemies, Sorsha vowed to save Jim.  As a gypsy woman with little clout she resorted to supernatural means.  She gathered her lover's most defining possessions (top hat, cane, spectacles, and revolver) and attempted to commune with the afterlife's mightiest entities.  And through her gifts and sheer tenacity she was answered.  The spirits would spare Craddock from oblivion, but their asking price was her life and soul.  In an act of unimaginable courage Sorsha agreed.

But there was some housekeeping to take care of before her sacrifice.  So she went to her cousin, the only person she still trusted, and left a note with instructions as well as her remaining savings.  She wished she could be with Jim during his final moments, but the bargain couldn't wait until then.  Three night's before his execution she called forth the ravenous spirits waiting to devour her soul.  When they were finished a cold shrieking corpse was left twisted across the floor.  The news of her death never reached Craddock before the state threw the switch.

His body vanished the moment his heart gave out, leaving his sparking electric chair empty.  Those who witnessed his disappearance gasped, and in many cases, Hail-Maryed in disbelief and fear.  The following morning's newspapers announced that Gentleman Jim - despite being bound and killed - managed to bewilder the authorities one last time.  It was the talk of town for years.

Craddock's distressed soul was pulled back to the site of Sorsha's final ritual.  It took thirty three years for his essence to regain enough strength to forge a new body - a day for each day of his first life.  Then his consciousness pushed him back into the material like a babe wiggling through its mother's birth canal.  Born in 1859, died in 1892, reborn in 1925.  Jim was just as he was, and he would never age again.

Much had changed since he'd been away.  The horse and buggy had been replaced by the automobile.  A war, the scale of which had never been seen before, nearly took the world apart.  But the only thing on Jim's mind was tracking down the only person he'd ever loved.  That journey led him to her grave.  It was tucked between some pine trees in a small cemetery near where he grew up.  Over her grave was a headstone with an inscription surrounded by symbols - a pair of spectacles, a walking cane, a pistol, and a top hat.  It read:

Love alone could not save you,
So I turned to my craft,
And I sold my soul for your immortality


It was as he feared, she traded her future for his.  Had their roles been reversed, Jim doubted he could have done the same.  And that realization infected him with more guilt that he could ever fully heal.

Unsure how to line his pockets in an unfamiliar age he leaned on his new phantasmal abilities.  Because even with a second shot at life, Craddock wasn't interested in earning an honest living.  So he haunted luxury homes until their owners' prayed a sinkhole would swallow the land their estates were perched on.  That's precisely when Jim would swoop in and snatch up the properties for pennies on the dollar.  In order for clever folks not to spot a pattern the ghost moved his scheme from town to town.  After twenty five years of spooky deals, supplemented with the occasional spectral burgle, Craddock amassed a fortune.

It was an effective con but ultimately unfulfilling.  There was no challenge, no danger.  And for Jim, the risk had always been as important as the score.  So in the 1950s, because his criminal path had grown comfortable, Craddock set out to discover what else the world could offer him. His first stop was Europe.  There he studied swordplay, philosophy, foreign languages, and art.  After several decades of education he journeyed to East Asia to train from the masters of traditional martial arts.  After becoming proficient in several disciplines he proceeded to Egypt to muse and meditate with mystics.

After fifty years of world travel Jim inevitably ran through his riches.  He viewed that turning point as a whistle to go home, back to the states — back to Bludhaven.  When he finally returned his city was virtually unrecognizable. Thankfully the landmark that was most precious to him, the cemetery where Sorsha rested, was still intact.  But how long would it withstand the hordes of insatiable urban developers?

Which is why he fell back into his old tricks, ghost-flipping properties across New Jersey, until he pooled enough wealth to buy Sorsha's graveyard.  He renamed the cemetery Craddock Memorial Park and polished its grounds with a traditional nineteenth century aesthetic.  Needing a residence he purchased a gothic manor overlooking his cemetery.

No one was more excited to see mighty heroes and theatrical villains pop up across the globe than Craddock.  This was the game he'd been waiting to play.  The time had come for one of the city's oldest outlaws to finally make his return.  But was the world ready for Gentleman Ghost?


Characterization: As Jim Craddock the man he is pompous, melodramatic, and oozes sophistication.  The first two qualities carry over into his ghost form but his sophistication is overwhelmed by his ghastly presence.  Also, his patience and self-control are decreased while in ghost form while his ferocity and heartlessness are sharply increased.   He's not a compassionate soul even when he's flesh and blood, but there is a sliver of humanity that can be reached when in that form.

Skills:
• Master Thief Package - Acrobatics, Appraisal, Escape Artist, Lockpicking, Slight of Hand, Stealth, & Urban Traversing

• Disciplines of Study - Art, Equestrian, Fencing, Karate, Marksmanship, Mysticism, Philosophy, & Wrestling

• Occupational Skills - Real Estate Appraisal, Cemetary Management

Flesh Form Powers:
• Eventual Restoration - While Craddock's body is just as vulnerable to injury as any mortal, should he survive a wound or disease - no matter how disfiguring - his anatomy will inevitably restore itself to full health and appearance.  Grievous injuries like the loss of a limb or third degree burns require a few months to completely heal.

Ghost Form Powers:
• Invisibility - The ability to vanish from all visible spectrums, including thermal.  Craddock is most often tangible while invisible, and in those instances he is vulnerable to physical attacks and echolocation.  
 
• Intangibility - The ability to reduce his density to the point where he can pass through solid objects.  Craddock may remain visible while intangible, where onlookers can see a cloudy version of his ghost form.  If he has suffered  damage before becoming intangible, the consequences will continue to run their course — GG could bleed out while intangible.

• Invisibility + Intangibility - Both powers can be activated simultaneously, but only for a brief period of time.  It's as taxing on Craddock's spirit as holding one's breath.  Two to three minutes is about the maximum amount of time he can keep up both powers.

• Spectral Flight - The ability to float and ascend off the Earth slowly while intangible.  

Core Power:
Reincarnation - Should Craddock ever be killed again his wounded spirit will be pulled to the site of Sorsha's sacrifice.  Once there it will repair itself after thirty three years, only then will he have the strength to materialize another  body.

Weaknesses:
• Appreciate Thy Enemy - Because GG loves a challenge, he's very reluctant to kill anyone he measures as a worthy opponent.  It's not out of mercy; it's out of  hope to spar again.  

• My evil scheme is... - Because of GG's enormous  vanity he can't help but share the details of any sinister plans he may have.  Clever heroes can exploit this.

Equipment: Jim travels lightly in his flesh form and typically keeps a handkerchief, wallet, and cellphone on his person at all times.  He also keeps a folded straight razor in his pocket for "emergency shaving."

In his ghost form Craddock has four spiritually linked items: his top hat, cane, revolver, and spectacles.  These possessions can never be separated from him as he can conjure them back into place with a moment's thought.  The top hat is purely for appearances, the cane can be wielding as a cudgel, the spectacles allow him to see magically hidden entities, and the pistol can wound/slay both mortals and spirits - ghosts bullets are conveniently reloaded into its cylinder as necessary.


Gentleman Ghost's Webley British Bulldog Revolver


Audition Post: WIP
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